Reducing Strikeouts From Day One
By Ellen Moir —
You wouldn’t put a rookie baseball player in a major league game without training first, right? So why would you put a rookie teacher into a classroom without adequate support? To create effective baseball players, and prevent strikeouts, rookies are coached on how to improve their game with efficient one-on-ones and extra guidance.
But right now, most rookie teachers are put up to bat without all of the proper coaching they need to hit a home run for students. Student learning suffers when an inexperienced teacher struggles alone to meet their wide-ranging needs or loses precious class time while managing student behavior. It is up to district leaders to make sure that each new teacher receives comprehensive induction and coaching, especially those who are teaching in high-need schools.
How can you do this? By making sure you have all your bases covered! Use our handy field guide to find out what you can do to reduce strikeouts from day one. We cover four key areas, and provide steps on how to make a successful program.
- Design your mentoring program well: Just because you put a program in place doesn’t mean it will be effective. You have to design the right program for your team (district); one that will help you fully understand and meet the needs of all players involved (mentors, new teachers and students).
- Set your mentors up for success: Coaches help their rookie baseball players get into the swing of things, and mentors do the same for new teachers. But mentors need special preparation to make the substantial switch from teaching children to coaching adults. They also need the right tools and time to help new teachers overcome the key challenges they face.
- Assign a mentor to every new teacher: You can study the game, but that doesn’t mean you are a pro. Those who have played the game well (talented, experienced teachers) can offer great insight to those who are just getting their start (new teachers).
- Evaluate your program regularly: How do baseball coaches keep their players improving? By not only assessing their performance, but their training as well. The same goes for districts. Simply putting a program in place for new teachers isn’t enough. You have to continue to monitor it and collect the right data to make sure the desired results – like reduced strikeouts – are being produced.